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Season-Off Finale in Turkey

Season-Off Finale in Turkey

Planet X sponsored rider and all round Iron Man, Luke Dragstra, celebrated his season off racing by competing in a Half Iron Man in Antalya, Turkey.

With an invite to race and a chance to present our bikes at a sports hotel my wife headed down to turkey for a half iron distance race in Antalya.

We got put up in the historic district of the city in a renovated 400 year old stone building. This place has just six rooms and we filled it up with ourselves and some French triathletes. Antalya is truly a beautiful place. A bay in the mediterranean surrounded by mountains loaded with ancient architecture and lots history.

I hadn't really upped my training too much, holding true to 'taking the year off' but I felt like I could have a solid race and hopefully some fun out on the course.

This being a 'secret race', I thought I might have a chance. I knew the top Turkish guys would be there and some top French age groupers, but you never know what to expect when you don't really train for a half distance.

Amazingly, they completely shut down the busy coastal road and it was a perfectly open bike course with mountains on one side and the sea on the other. I got out of the water in the main group with 3 guys up the road.  But two guys from my group went off like rockets the first 15km and my old bowed legs didn't want to follow.  I picked off the original leaders pretty quick but couldn't make any headway on the new leaders. I stopped losing time at halfway however and managed to move Into 2nd with momentum thinking I could make some headway on the alpha wolf in the the last lap (of 3). But alas the young Frenchman in the lead must have found some steam and came off the bike with a 3min cushion on me. Although I hadn't felt like I was on my my limit on the bike, the lack of training showed as soon as I got running. It felt easy aerobically but my hammy's were fooked and the left one started cramping. I had to shorten my stride and couldn't get moving at a pace I would normally call a run. The gap to the leader continued to grow instead of shrink and I just kept shuffling as good as I could. I finally got a salt tab at 8km from a lapped friend and after another lap I stopped getting the hammy cramps and I was able to get moving at a reasonable pace on the last lap and hold on to second.

They had a really lively awards ceremony and there was plenty of EFES flowing the rest if the day so I woke up feeling pretty average today.

I thoroughly enjoyed the race and recommend it to anyone who would like an end of the year race/vacation as there is plenty to do and see in Antalya and the surrounding area and the weather is perfect at this time if year.


So my season off is over! Time to get serious again! ;)

27 November 2013


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